Soft Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Black Pepper

by Shawnda on November 17, 2011

in Bread,Christmas,Holiday Favorites,Thanksgiving

Soft Dinner Rolls with Black Pepper and Rosemary

Today we’re sharing our favorite recipe for dinner rolls. If you’re still searching for the perfect soft, white, and fluffy dinner roll, you shouldn’t have to look any further.

The rolls are quite versatile, we’ve used it for hamburger buns, dinner rolls, and slider rolls. When making classic dinner rolls, I add a little more sugar than I would for burger and slider buns. When making a savory dinner roll, I skimp on the sugar and add a generous amount of black pepper and fresh rosemary.

And they’ll be a huge hit with your holiday dinner crowd – I made a double batch last Christmas and had absolutely no leftovers. None. I had been so looking forward to leftover turkey & cranberry sliders using the rolls. I’m planning ahead this year :)

Don’t have the time on Thanksgiving to make bread? You can make these ahead of time and freeze them in the pan – simply take them out and let them thaw and rise on the counter and then bake as directed.

Soft Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Black Pepper

The perfect soft, white, and fluffy dinner roll. Make savory rolls by decreasing the sugar and adding a generous dose of black pepper and fresh rosemary.


  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) plus more for greasing bowl and pan
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp - 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (optional, for savory rolls)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (optional, for savory rolls)
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional, for classic rolls)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter


  1. Add warm water to the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit 10 minutes, until frothy.
  2. Add the, oil, egg, and sugar to the bowl. If making savory dinner rolls, add 3 Tbsp of sugar, black pepper, and rosemary. If making classic dinner rolls, add 1/3 cup of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour and mix on medium-low speed with the hook until the dough holds together, about 2 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If not, add additional flour by the Tbsp.
  4. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough for 20 minutes. Add the salt and mix the dough on low speed for 1 minute.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been lightly greased with oil. Cover it with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours.
  7. Grease the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch baking pan.
  8. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  9. Divide the dough in half and pinch off 7 pieces of dough the size of a golf ball (2 oz each if you're using a scale) from each half.
  10. Roll into rounds and place in the pan about 1/2-1 inch apart (they should fill the pan after the final riser).
  11. If freezing, wrap the pan tightly in foil and place in the freezer. Remove from the freezer and let thaw on the counter - plan on 2-2 1/2 hours for thawing and rising.
  12. Cover with a damp towel and let them rise for 20 minutes + oven preheating time. The rolls should expand to fill up the entire pan, if you can see more than a couple of spots of the bottom of the pan, let them rise a bit longer.
  13. Preheat oven to 350.
  14. Brush the rolls with half of the melted butter and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and brush with remaining butter. Serve immediately or at room temperature.


Yields: 14 dinner rolls or slider buns (1 9-inch pan of rolls), 8 burger buns

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 3 hours

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